web analytics


Sloe, sloe, quick slurp, sloe

how to make scrummy sloe ginSorry… terrible title but I couldn’t resist.  I have a sneaking suspicion that thinking it’s funny may be more to do with an afternoon in the kitchen surrounded by gin fumes than it actually being, well, amusing

I’ve had a lovely time pottering – there is something about filling up kilner jars and decanting various concoctions into bottles that feels terribly domestic goddess, a perfect antidote to the first full week back at the office

Today has been about decanting the last two vintages of sloe gin – a 2009/2010 combination vintage (mainly because I in an end of pregnancy / new baby haze I didn’t pick all that many sloes and they just got dumped in the freezer in 2009 so they ended up bunged in with the 2010 contributions) and last year’s batch.  The youngest batch has done a year steeping in the cupboard under the stairs and both were well ready to be strained through muslins and decanted into their bottles.  And of course, because they looked different they needed a quick taste to make sure they passed muster

This year’s sloes have been defrosted (far easier than pricking them all with a knitting needle) and popped in the big bottle along with a mass of sugar and the gin – for a bit of variety we’ve added in orange zest to see if we can create something a little different from the usual.  I’ll get back to you in a year and let you know how it goes

After all of that I was faced with a bowl of plump, luscious sloes I didn’t really want to just put onto the compost heap – a bit of internet searching and mashing together of recipes and I have decided to try using them for sloe port.  Research suggests you can let them have another go around so some have topped up this year’s batch but most of them are now steeping in red wine – we’ll see how it goes but the sugar has nearly dissolved which has to be a good sign

Recipes below if you fancy giving these a go – I’m not sure why but picking wild things and making something out of them seems to be very good for the soul, or that might be the gin fumes speaking…


Muddling sloe gin

Hedgerow sloes

Caster sugar


Large kilner jar or bottle you won’t need for a year


Pick as many sloes as you can – I then pop them in the freezer until I have time to deal with them which has the twin advantages of meaning you can channel domestic goddess when you have time and the freezing means you (a) don’t have to wait until the first frost to pick them and (b) you don’t have to prick every single one with a knitting needle – and pop into a large jar so it is roughly 2/3rds full.  Add in sugar to cover and then pour over the gin.

For a litre and a half of gin you will need about a kilo of sloes and kilo of sugar give or take.

I’ve tried this with very cheap gin and decent gin – I wouldn’t use your Sipsmith special bottle but avoid the really cheap stuff

Put to one side, shaking daily for the first few weeks to make sure the sugar dissolves, and then year for at least 3 months but the longer the better before straining through muslin and decanting into pretty bottles

Give as gifts but remember to keep some for yourself – ours can’t have been bad, my brother in law was spotted drinking his straight from the bottle at Christmas, although on reflection that may have been the impact of all the family and so many children running wild…


Muddling sloe port

500g leftover sloes from the previous year’s sloe gin

100g sugar

1 75ml bottle of red wine

150ml brandy


Pop your leftover sloes into a clean 1.5 litre kilner jar, add in the sugar and red wine and shake well to mix.  Pop in the cupboard and take out regularly to shake to ensure the sugar mixes in.  Leave for 3 months

After 3 months strain and decant, add in the brandy and shake to mix


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

2 comments to Sloe, sloe, quick slurp, sloe

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>